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Salesforce Nonprofits: 7 Ways Nonprofits Can Make the Most of Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Nonprofit organizations are a breed apart – committed to a cause and willing to go the extra mile to selflessly serve someone in need. And although ...

Nonprofit organizations are a breed apart – committed to a cause and willing to go the extra mile to selflessly serve someone in need. And although their mission is never to line anyone’s pockets with money, they do need resources (such as funds) to further their mission and achieve their goals. And to do this, they need to find, connect with, and build lasting relationships with lifelong supporters. Email marketing is a powerful way to do this.

With SFMC, nonprofits can create targeted and personalized email campaigns to engage their donors, clients, and partners with the right message at the right time. They can automate multi-step journeys, set up targeted triggered emails, and analyze their efforts to make smarter, faster decisions, and create a bigger impact for their mission. With its powerful suite of tools and functionalities, SFMC is a highly-effective Salesforce nonprofit ESP, even for nonprofits that don’t have an in-house SFMC specialist or large email marketing team.

Here are 7 ways nonprofits can make a real impact with SFMC, a powerful Salesforce for nonprofits ESP solution.

Target and segment the right supporters

With SFMC, a customizable Salesforce for nonprofits, nonprofits can easily find and target new and prospective constituents. They can collect specific data, and do deeper and more precise segmentation based on multiple criteria. They can also get rich insights into constituents’ preferences and behaviors across multiple channels, including email. Based on this information, they can design email campaigns to engage with them with relevant, empathetic messaging.

For example, if they find many prospective donors located in a certain geographic region or interested in a particular program, they can send them targeted communications with relevant updates about that program or up-to-date information about upcoming fundraising events to increase impact and move them towards a particular outcome (eg. donation).

And if constituents typically take action on certain emails on a certain day or at certain times, they can control their send times to ensure that the most impactful messages are sent out on that day (or time). Using the Einstein Send Time Optimization feature in SFMC Journey Builder, they can automatically determine the optimal send times and ensure that the sends happen even without manual actions.

Create 1×1 cross-channel journeys for richer engagement

Regardless of its mission, size or target community, every nonprofit needs constituents, i.e. donors, volunteers and supporters, who are committed to its cause. And to do this, engaging with them over their entire journey is crucial.

With SFMC Journey Builder, nonprofits can create intelligent, personalized and connected journeys to nurture each constituent so they remain committed to its cause. Based on these journeys, they can email a prospect, and once they open it, they can follow up with other emails providing more information about their work, mission and goals. If they don’t open the message within a certain time frame, they can follow up either with another email, or by engaging in other ways, say, social media, advertising or mobile. They can also easily modify these journeys based on their interactions in order to update their email marketing strategy that has the best chance of converting them from casual supporters to strong allies to passionate advocates.

Quickly create and deploy powerful email campaigns with SFMC templates

With the non profit Salesforce Marketing Cloud, nonprofits can build highly personalized and timely email campaigns to target constituents with messaging around a specific topic or theme. Thanks to built-in SFMC templates and content blocks, they don’t have to create new email designs from scratch (unless they really want to). Templates can contain merge fields that can be easily populated based on the target contact. This means that one template can be effortlessly individualized for thousands of people in just a few clicks. This way, they can send world-class curated emails to both individuals (e.g. case updates, or donation acknowledgments) or to mass audiences (e.g. invites to fundraising events, donation campaigns or newsletters).

Leverage predictive analytics to personalize each email with ease

With SFMC’s predictive analytics capabilities, nonprofits can easily create or modify tailored content based on constituents’ profiles, preferences, interests or behaviors. With the capabilities of non profit Salesforce Marketing Cloud, they can add personalization at multiple levels: subject line, greeting, copy, etc.

They can also send behavior-triggered emails when a particular constituent takes a specific action at any stage of their journey. For example, they can monitor the pages people frequent on their website, and then send emails with messaging specific to that page (or content) to keep them engaged for longer and more likely to convert (whatever their conversion goal might be).

The power of automation is also within their hands with SFMC, the most user-friendly salesforce nonprofit ESP. For example, a triggered email can be set up to automatically send a donor a thank you email.

With the drag-and-drop functions, personalized scripting language, and interactive content like carousels and weather reports in Salesforce, nonprofits can connect with and delight their constituents with real-time, hyper-personalized messages.

Stay connected with subscribers and convert them into passionate supporters

With SFMC, nonprofits can stay connected with their constituents to keep the conversation going and gently convert them into supporters and even advocates – no matter where they are. And if they need their subscribers to take a certain action, they can make it easy for them via surveys, forms and other types of “interactive” content.

With interactive emails, subscribers can directly engage with the nonprofit and its mission by tapping, clicking, swiping, etc. without leaving the inbox. This ease of use can boost email opens, clickthroughs and engagement. Thus, nonprofits can not only tell constituents that their opinions matter, but also deliver extraordinary user experiences that keep them coming back for more. Ultimately, it enables them to build deeper relationships with constituents who passionately believe in and support their mission.

A/B test to create impactful email campaigns

In addition to designing meaningful email campaigns, SFMC, as a Salesforce nonprofit ESP, also enables nonprofits to improve their email marketing strategy and increase their chances of meeting their campaign goals – before the campaign is sent out. This can be done via A/B testing.

A/B testing – also known as split testing – enables nonprofit email marketing managers or their SFMC specialist (if they have one) to set up multiple versions of a campaign. Then, by sending these emails to different subsets of the audience, they can determine which version is likely to drive more engagement with the entire constituent list. For example, for emails about donation appeals, they can test different subject lines (i.e. two email versions, each with a different subject line) to see which one brings in the most donations. They can also test different imagery or copy when asking subscribers to sign up for the next volunteering activity or fundraising event. With Email Studio, nonprofits can also test for pre-headers, from name, CTA text, send times, etc., depending on their campaign goals.

Analyze performance and impact, and take concrete steps to improve

SFMC provides strong analytics and reporting capabilities so nonprofits can measure how well their campaigns resonate with their supporters. They can track their impact with real-time information and also fine-tune their messages to ensure that they reach the right constituents with the most targeted messaging every single time.

With Datorama, the ideal source for Salesforce nonprofit intelligence, they get a single source of truth for assessing campaign performance and impact. They can even share progress with other people across or outside organization (e.g. volunteers) with beautiful, easy-to-use interactive dashboards to make smarter, faster and data-driven decisions. And on the basis of deep, real-time insights, they can gauge their performance, make smart decisions quickly, and optimize their campaigns over time.

Wrap Up

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a powerful Email Service Provider for nonprofit organizations, allowing them to nurture contacts, spread their message and meet their goals. They can also track their campaigns and capture the right data in order to extract valuable insights and ensure that their communications are always sensitive and relevant. With SFMC and email marketing, nonprofits of all shapes and sizes can increase awareness, engage constituents in personalized, relevant ways, and build long-term relationships that make a tangible impact. 

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Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing companies. He is an email enthusiast at heart and loves to pen down email marketing content. You can reach him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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